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Hearts Of Fire - Not Like Him

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Uploaded on Sep 23, 2007

My name is Bob Ballard. A few years ago when I was living in Boston, I had an opportunity to spend time with some homeless people.

What surprised me most was my reaction to being around the homeless people I encountered on the streets of Boston while walking to and from appointments. I noticed how self conscious I felt, how hard it was for me to look them in the eye. It was a very unusual reaction for me and I didn't understand it. I am a friendly person who cares about people and I did not like how uncomfortable I was and I became determined to cross that divide.

I chose to write a song about it that eventually became this video.

When I decided to film the video, I went back to Boston with my guitar a couple of friends and a camera. I spent two days with men and women who live on the streets of Boston. I did not know how they were going to react to us. I was worried that they might think I was exploiting them. The only thing there was for me to do was to tell them why I was there.

I told them that I was bothered by my own discomfort around homeless people, it was not ok with me and I wanted to make a video about it. To my surprise the idea was welcomed. They knew darn well how uncomfortable most people feel around them and how people avoid them.

They welcomed the opportunity to make this music video and participated both in front of and behind the camera.

These were two of the most humbling and moving days of my life.

From this experience and through my participation in Landmark Education programs, I created a project called "Hearts of Fire". It is a mobile art and music studio that will be visiting homeless shelters across America and giving the people staying there the chance to express themselves though the medium of Music and Art.

Our first stop will be in Washington D.C October 15-18 where we are visiting three family shelters and an adult service and referral agency. In November, we will stopping at 5 shelters San Diego, CA. Next year, we are expanding the tour to include Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Please visit www.heartsoffire.tv for more information.

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